The $150-million Philippine Domestic Submarine Cable Network (PDSCN), the country’s longest domestic submarine fiber cable project, has landed on the shores of Siargao to boost the island’s recovery after Typhoon Odette and the prolonged pandemic.
The 2,500 kilometer PDSCN, a project of Globe Telecom Inc., Eastern Communications, and InfiniVAN, reached Siargao on Thursday, September 22, with the promise of better connectivity for residents, tourists and businesses.
Siargao is one of the landing points of the PDSCN, which is meant to improve both mobile and broadband connectivity and fiberize previously unserved areas across the country’s three main island groups.
The project partners marked a new milestone this month with the arrival of fiber cables in the Municipality of Dapa to increase network capacity in Siargao.
Once fully rolled out, the cable will improve connectivity on the island.
As it is separated from Surigao del Norte’s capital Surigao City by the Philippine Sea, Siargao, the Surfing Capital of the Philippines, only relies on microwave radio for its telecom network services.
With the PDSCN project, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the area can thrive. Residents as well as local and foreign visitors can also enjoy better access.
Fiber connectivity will likewise help Siargao, one of the areas hardest hit by super typhoon Odette last year, recover faster, says Rene Martin Go, Globe’s Senior Director for Transport Engineering and Optimization.
“Improving the island’s communication infrastructure, our project will boost businesses, support connectivity needs for school and work, and provide a better-connected environment conducive to tourism,” he stressed.
“Connecting islands across the Philippine archipelago will bring positive outcomes in improving the lives of the residents of Siargao,” according to Delfin Lopez, Eastern Communications Head of Network Planning, Engineering, and Implementation Division.
And the project is timely as many people are still doing a lot of their tasks remotely, including working from home, says Alberto Espedido, InfiniVAN Chief Technology Officer.
“Siargao is a hub for digital nomads from around the world. This particular PDSCN does not only connect the major islands of the country but also connects several tourist islands, including Siargao,” he elaborated.
“Improved network connectivity, benefits not only the residents of the island but also the tourists and investors who will develop Siargao into a first-class tourist destination,” acknowledged Dapa town Vice Mayor Gerry Abejo.
In August, the joint venture sent off the state-of-the-art ship Cable Infinity of Japanese vendor Kokusai Cable Ship Co. Ltd. to ferry the 96-core fiber optic cables manufactured by fiber optic cable maker Nexans S.A.
Before Siargao, PDSCN landed cables in Lucena City, Boac, Marinduque, Calatrava, Romblon, Roxas City, Placer, Masbate, Iloilo City and Bacolod City.
Segments for the submarine cable network will be completed by April 2023, and fiber connections will be activated right after.